Thursday 8 December 2016

Cycling can't move on with Verbruggen still in situ

Donny Mahoney

Published 22/04/2015 | 02:30

Hein Verbruggen has penned a remarkably defiant 3,360-word opus defending his work at the UCI
Hein Verbruggen has penned a remarkably defiant 3,360-word opus defending his work at the UCI

Look up the meaning of the word 'neck' in the dictionary and you should find the following note at the end: 'See also: Hein Verbruggen, honorary UCI president'.

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An open letter that Verbruggen wrote to the UCI's management committee has been published in Belgian newspaper De Morgen. Given the largely damning findings of the UCI's recent CIRC report into the governance of cycling under Verbruggen and Pat McQuaid, one (naively) might have expected a slightly sheepish appeal from Hein.

Instead, Verbruggen has penned a remarkably defiant 3,360-word opus defending his work at the UCI.

My favourite line was this, about new president Brian Cookson's inclusion of the unattributed claim that "90pc of riders are still doping" in the CIRC report: "He should stand up to defend his sport and his athletes against these cheap attacks, as indeed I did when I took people such as Messrs Pound, Voet, Landis and Kimmage to court."

Such chutzpah! Success for Cookson as UCI president will be largely based on his ability to force Verbruggen out of the UCI. This letter makes it explicit: Hein won't make it easy for him.

Irish Independent

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